Time: 10:00AM – 2:00PM
Location: Cold Spring Gulch to Corwina Park and O’Fallon Park
I suspect it has been four or five years since I last visited Bear Creek. While undergoing physical therapy for my sprained MCL, I met a young physical therapy aid named Hayley. In the course of conversation I learned that she and her boyfriend Doran love fly fishing, and on my last visit she obtained my mobile number, so she could share it with Doran. Several days later I received a text message from the aforementioned Doran, and we agreed to meet on a local stream. Doran suggested Cold Spring Gulch on Bear Creek as our meeting place between 9 and 9:30 on Monday morning, and our text message exchange became a bona fide plan.
As I drove west on CO 74, I noticed a sign for Cold Spring Gulch, but a parking area was not obvious, so I continued on to Corwina Park, where I immediately texted Doran to let him know my whereabouts. Doran arrived at Corwina Park by 9:30 on Monday, and after I strung my Orvis Access four weight, we were on our way. The temperature was in the upper 50’s when we began, and the flows were a bit low at 20 CFS but very clear for late April.
We hiked downstream along the shoulder of CO 74 to the bend where Cold Spring Gulch entered Bear Creek, and then we descended a steep bank and crossed the creek below a cyclone fence with several very visible no trespassing signs. Doran occupied a gorgeous long deep pool, and I continued downstream to a point where a large rock wall jutted into the creek. I began with a yellow fat Albert and trailed a single beadhead hares ear, and I covered quite a bit of nice water before I returned to Doran, who was in the process of moving upstream beyond the private water. During this early period I landed one nine inch brown trout that grabbed the hares ear in a relatively shallow riffle.
The paths along the creek were well worn, so I suspected that the obvious prime spots were pressured over the weekend. Bear Creek in this area is public water and open to fishing with bait, lures and flies. When I reached the private property sign, I exited and used the main trail to circle around the fenced water until I crossed a bridge. After crossing the bridge I turned on to a fisherman path that led upstream from the bridge pool. Thirty yards above the bridge I found Doran, and we compared notes from our fishing so far.
Doran decided to try the dry/dropper method using a large foam top fly, and I presented him with one of my yellow fat Alberts. Over the remainder of the morning we alternated nice deep runs and riffles, and I picked up two more brown trout in the process. Doran also experienced some success, and he became a loyal fan of the fat Albert.
At noon we advanced to a point above the parking lot at Corwina Park, and we could see a fisherman ahead of us, so we exited and returned to our cars. I grabbed my lunch and snacked at a picnic table in the park, and then we drove farther west to O’Fallon Park. I wanted to introduce Doran to a new area. We crossed the bridge and parked in the parking lot on the other side of the creek, and then we hiked on the gravel path until we were above another fisherman and just below the bend run next to a streamside restaurant.
Doran positioned himself next to the deep run, and he experienced a refusal as his flies drifted next to some large exposed rocks. When he moved up to the prime section, I began casting to the area of the rise. I tossed the fat Albert to a narrow space where a side current curled back to the main flow, and I was shocked when a fish bolted to the surface and crushed the fat Albert. I was certain that the brown trout was the fish that snubbed Doran’s cast earlier, and I landed the greedy little guy and snapped a photo.
Meanwhile Doran ran his dry/dropper between the faster current and a foam patch, and he observed a pause and landed a decent brown that snatched the beadhead hares ear. We were both thrilled with his success. We continued upstream until we reached the next bridge, and then we called it a day and returned to the parking lot.
I landed two additional average size Bear Creek browns during this time, and they both grabbed the hares ear. On Monday four of my netted fish favored the hares ear, one smashed the fat Albert, and one nipped a salad spinner. Doran was pleased with his results, and he vowed to tie hares ear nymphs and fat Alberts when he returned to his apartment. I could not have asked for higher praise from a fishing friend.
Fish Landed: 6